Monday, May 30, 2011

What a difference a "good" week makes.

So, after having chemo, eating clams (which we have established is NOT a good idea for me), and then having chemo, I was explaining so weird things that were going with me to my oncologist. He, of course, wanted to see me. I, of course, went. By the time I got there, I was CONVINCED that I was having liver failure. My oncologist listened to me, he ran blood tests and a urine analysis, he offered to postpone chemo on the 31st, etc. He showed me my blood work for the last hundred years and he taught me how to read my blood work. These things I have NEVER been interested in doing until now. And, then, in the kindest of voices he said, "We can do all of these things, but I cannot advise you to change treatment unless there is some objective evidence that there is something wrong." Translated - "You are psycho and absolutely FINE." But, I felt REALLY loved while being psycho and fine. So, I went home, talked to Grant, thought about it, and decided that I was fine physically. All the sudden, my anxiety went away, my pains went away, and I was free to enjoy the rest of my life. And, I did. This weekend was great - I did almost nothing, y'know, for me. But we worked as a family, I went to a play with my Mom and Aunt, Grant did an amazing job on the yard - it looks amazing, I cleaned a little bit, I took the boys to swim lessons BY MYSELF, and we even got to have a play date with some neighbors where the Moms slipped away and went shopping to the Nordstrom sale to be a personal shopper for my neighbor - a role I LOVE. I got flowers and Copper River Salmon from my boys. This really was a banner weekend. Do I want to go to chemo tomorrow? No. Can I go to chemo tomorrow and not worry about liver failure to the point that I am having a martini now? Yes. I always need to remember that this time I year is hard for me. This is when I was diagnosed, this is when I loss Bob, and, now, I lost another fighter. I only knew her through her blogs and email, but she was a true fighter. Oh well, I will NOT think of that tomorrow. Tomorrow is about rallying. Tomorrow is about fighting for my position. Tomorrow my love/hate relationship with chemo continues. Here is to having a great holiday weekend, Ang

Friday, May 20, 2011


Well, this last round was a little rough. It probably didn't help that I had bowel problems going into the round (like for the entire GOOD week between chemos) Turns out clams were NOT a good idea. Then this morning Grant says to me, "Are you going to be talking to your oncologist this week?" "No, why?" "Well, the last few times you have come home your complexion is dark and green and yellow." I guess I am going to call the oncologist! I am coming out and hoping to have a good weekend. I did a stupid thing on chemo this time. I actually googled "colostomy". This is NOT a good idea (even though I know half of you are now going to google it!). I just wanted to see and I should have left it alone. So, as I come down off of that visual and as the anti-depressants start to take there effect, I think I was a vandal in a previous life, because, as usual, I am looking to spray paint something...I better hurry before the sun goes away. Hangin' in, Ang

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cannon Beach

So, a long time ago when we all thought I would be done with all this chemo crap, I planned a Mother's Day weekend for my family and my Mom and Dad at Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach has always been a magical place for me. I never spent too much time there, but I can tell you that right after Mason's embryo transfer Grant and I went there for three nights. Then, for Nolan's, we did the same thing and the place we stayed even gave us the same room. So, to go back on Mother's Day after everything that has happened, was, shall we say cathartic. I have to say though, you can imagine my attitude in going. I was depressed, tired, not feeling the greatest and the weather report was for rain all weekend, but Monday was supposed to be okay. The boys were ANNOYING in the car, a Prius tried to side swipe us (yes, I drive an Explorer, but I am not a tree hater!), and it was POURING RAIN when we got there. We had a house on the beach so we unpacked and got comfortable pretty fast - gas fireplace ON! Then Sunday came....60 sunny clear. Low tide was at 10:44 so that Haystack Rock was just short of PERFECT. We played with Hermit crabs, sea stars, sea slugs, and sea enemies (SP). We flew kites in the afternoon, and played with remote control cars. The kids had ice cream and I even ate clams. At the end of the day I was exhausted, had a little tiny sunburn on my forehead, and very, very, happy. It not only was the best Mother's Day of my Mom career, but probably one of the best days of my life. Monday was more of the same and as we were going home, we listened to Car Talk and music from my iPod. Yes, you guessed it! I got a new stereo in my car and we finally got the rear view mirror stuck up there again. It still shakes and rattles at 60 mph but it is technically up. When I plugged my iPod in it seemed stuck on Grant and my song. I was trying to get off of it, but it wouldn't go, so I decided to just listen to it. It is a great song. It is "See What the Day Brings" by Brad. I know. You NEVER heard of them. I hadn't either. Grant found it years ago and he didn't buy the CD for that song. When we got home, I went to Fred Meyer and "Over the Rainbow" by IZ was playing over the intercom and finally just looked up and said, "FINE! I hear you!" I looked down smiling not sure anybody saw that. Great, now, I am talking to the ceiling! BEST MOTHER'S DAY EVER! (Shrink appointment Friday at 9!) Love, Ang

Saturday, May 7, 2011

It used to be when I didn't post things were fine.

Well, not really this time. I have gotten a lot of news and not so much of it was what I wanted to hear. First, I finally talked to my surgeon and he told me that he was able to take 99% of the tumor, but he had to leave he rest because he would have punctured the vagina wall. Now, he is optimistic that, with continued chemotherapy, the 1% may be taken care of, so we need to just see how it goes. If it does not, there will be no choice but a full and permanent colostomy with no possibility for reconstruction. So, while I am spinning on the continued chemotherapy and on the permanent colostomy, I am thinking how much longer do you expect me to do chemo? I asked my oncologist, "Will I ever be in remission again?" and I know he wanted to say yes, but I actually saw him catch himself and said, "It is my most sincerest wish." After all the times we thought I would be done, I am not. SPIN. During this last week when I was feeling particularly awful, I couldn't see my benefit to society. I know....just stay with me.... I know I contribute a fair amount to Swedish hospital, but I am a "crap or get off the pot" sort of gal and translated to this situation (I know - translated??? Hilarious, eh?) it is "die or get better already!" If I die, the life insurance pays off, the house and all our debt would be gone. Grant would have money for college for the boys and my job, in a way, would be done. More importantly, Grant, the boys, my family, and my friends would be free of this. The down side - I don't get to see my boys grow up which really sometimes is the only thing that gets me up. No more sunrises, no more moments, no more smelling behind their ears. And then slowly, I start to feel better. Slowly, I remember everything to be thankful for. Slowly, I remember that I want to be here. Slowly, I remember, that am I am on the right track. Slowly, I remember, that I could be in remission again - just a little longer. So, here is to lookin' for that rope that says, "CALL Psychiatrist!" The call will go in early next week. I will be okay...I always am. This is the mind game of cancer. Loves, Ang